Bafana protect strong home qualifier record Bafana Bafana

Bafana Bafana have taken on 19 different opponents in home World Cup qualifiers over the years, but it will be none more frequently than Zimbabwe, when the teams clash in Bloemfontein tonight.

It will be a third meeting with the Warriors in the preliminaries for the global competition, equalling the number they have played against Burkina Faso, their most frequent opponent.

Bafana have taken four points from nine at the start of their campaign for a place in the United States, Mexico and Canada in two years’ time, while Zimbabwe have two, following a pair of draws and a surprise 2-0 loss to Lesotho last week. South Africa have recorded home qualifier wins against 16 of their previous 19 opponents, with only current pool rivals Nigeria (D1 L1), Senegal (L1) and, surprisingly, Sierra Leone (D1) yet to fall against Bafana in South Africa.

When they clashed with Benin at the start of this campaign, it was a first meeting between the sides in the World Cup preliminaries as Bafana won 2-1.

In all they have won 21 of those 29 games, with four draws (against DR Congo, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone) and four defeats (versus Cape Verde, Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal).

It is a strong record and shows Bafana’s potency in front of their own fans.

The late Phil Masinga scored their first ever home goal in the qualifiers when he netted after 27 minutes of a 1-0 win over Congo in 31 years ago. That was one of four home qualifier goals he scored, with others against Congo, DR Congo and Zambia.

Only Shaun Bartlett scored more for Bafana in home World Cup preliminary matches with six. Remarkably, Bafana kept clean sheets in their first eight home qualifiers before Peter Ndlovu finally netted a penalty in 2001.

It would be 12 years on from their first game before they conceded a goal from open play when Cape Verde’s Janicio netted 12 minutes from fulltime in 2004, and in all Bafana have kept their oppositions scoreless in 16 of their 28 home matches. – SuperSport.



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